Yes, I know it is Easter Monday – and we are infused with the hope of Easter Day. However, I have a sneaking love for some of the truly miserable prayers of the distant past.
While flicking through my Benedictine Prayer Book, I came across this. I find it oddly comforting and I acknowledge the truth of it. I also think that we might write a different prayer in the light of what is happening right now. Here is the prayer by Thomas à Kempis who lived 1380-1471.
'God, our Father, we are exceedingly frail and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking. Strengthen our weakness, we beseech you, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.'
We are living through terrible times. But all around us are people rising to the occasion. We see everyday heroism and we are in awe of it. The Celtic Christians tended to be optimistic about the world. They knew how fragile life was and they were well aware of the disaster of sin, but they were essentially hopeful.
On this Easter Monday, I am dismayed by the terrible carnage of Covid-19, but I am full of admiration for all those who refuse to be beaten by it. We pull together. We are grateful that our prime minister is out of hospital. We cherish the NHS and will do forever. In the midst of our darkness, we are hopeful.